Taking the next step: Township supervisor ready for a try on the county board

·2 min read

Jul. 25—A London Township man is hoping his experience as a township supervisor will serve him well if elected to the Freeborn County Board of Commissioners.

Henry Tews is running for the District 2 seat, currently held by longtime Commissioner Dan Belshan. With Belshan announcing he will not seek reelection, four people have filed for the position.

Tews and the other three candidates — Scott Woitas, Steve Kluver and Dawn Kaasa — will face off in the Aug. 9 primary. The two candidates with the highest number of votes will move on to the general election.

A fourth-generation farm owner, Tews said he was involved with and had leadership positions with 4-H and FFA when he was growing up. He graduated from Glenville High School in 1979 and has worked as a boiler operator and maintenance engineer at Albert Lea's hospital since 1989 under its various names and still works in the position today.

He has also served with Bethlehem Lutheran Church and Pilgrims Rest Cemetery in Myrtle.

In 2008, he started as a township supervisor in London Township, and now after 14 years hopes to take it to the county level.

"I thought I would take the next step," he said of what led him to run for county office. "My years of being in 4-H and FFA and the township, I just like to serve people."

He said he has had experience — though on a lesser level of government — in setting levies, taking bids on items and budgeting that he thinks would help him as a commissioner. He also has worked with different county offices, including the highway, engineering and zoning departments, as well as with the Cedar River Watershed District.

He knows budgeting will be critical for the commissioners and said from what he has been hearing when out meeting with people in his district, people are concerned about taxes going up.

"That's the biggest issue I'm hearing," he said.

Tews said he considered himself to be a good listener and ultimately recognizes the role of commissioner is to listen to constituents and to vote in a way that represents the majority of their opinions

He and his wife, Becky, have five grown children and 14 grandchildren, most of whom live in the area.

He said he has been busy meeting people, knocking on doors, walking in the Albert Lea Third of July Parade and distributing signs ahead of the upcoming election.